The South Okanagan RGS was initiated in 2004 and is the product of several years of wide ranging consultation and development, drawing heavily from the knowledge and expertise of south Okanagan residents, experts, professionals and elected officials.
Each of the following sections represent an integral component of the development of the strategy.
An innovative visioning process - SouthOkanaganQuest program - was customized for specific use in the RGS process to prepare a cohesive preferred future growth scenario for the south Okanagan. This technology allowed participating citizens and elected officials to see the consequences of various policy directions on the future of the region, and to make a more informed recommendation on the direction they wished to see embodied in the RGS.
In concert with this effort, a system of committees was set up, each dealing with a specific policy area, to inform the development of the first draft of the RGS:
- Economic Advisory Committee;
- Environment Advisory Committee;
- Public Advisory Committee; and,
- Social Advisory Committee.
In addition to these policy-driven advisory committees, three other committees were struck to provide involvement from elected officials, technical advice and to facilitate cooperation between the various levels of government;
- RGS Steering Committee;
- Technical Planning & Engineering Committee; and,
- Inter-governmental Advisory Committee.
The RDOS has made significant efforts at every stage of the RGS development to involve and garner input from members of the public. Over the five years of its development, the RDOS has advertised in the print media, on the radio, online and has held open houses all over the south Okanagan. Throughout the process, written comments have been welcomed.
Bylaw Status & Next Steps
At its regular meeting of April 1, 2010, the RDOS Board resolved to adopt the South Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy. With its adoption, the RDOS has taken an important step towards creating a vibrant and sustainable region over the long-term.
Now, the emphasis for the RGS shifts to implementation work. Over the next several years, implementing the RGS will require the following:
- Developing issue-specific implementation agreements with other jurisdictions;
- Working with member municipalities to prepare Regional Context Statements for their Official Community Plans;
- Preparing amendments for rural area Official Community Plans to ensure their consistency with the RGS;
- Consideration by the Board of projects and prioirities identified in the RGS; and
- Ongoing monitoring to ensure the RGS remains a relevant and effective strategic document.
Background studies were commissioned as part of the development of the RGS and contributed significant technical information that would be used as another base upon which to develop policy direction.
- Growth Strategy Report for the Okanagan Similkameen Region 2004 to 2031 - Urban Futures
- Moving Towards a Water Balance Way-of-Thinking and Acting - Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA and the Real Estate Foundation
- Environmental Issues and Options For the South Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy - Hobson & Associates
- Regional Issues Paper - Lions Gate Consulting
- Grasslands Protection: A Primer for Local Governments - U.Vic Faculty of Law and the Wetland Stewardship Partnership
- Charting a Course for the Okanagan: A Review of the Issues and Actions - Westland
- A Strategy to Achieve Green Sustainable Economic Development in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys - Westland
- Okanagan Investment Attraction Strategy - Okanagan Economic Development Council and Okanogan Science and Technology Council (OSTEC)